SNP conference calls on Scottish Government to ban sex for rent

Written by Jenni Davidson on 10 October 2017 in News

The SNP conference has called for a new law banning sex for rent in Scotland

Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh - Image credit: Sandy Gemmill/Wikimedia Commons

Sex for rent could be banned in Scotland if the Scottish Government follows the wishes of SNP members.

SNP conference passed a resolution yesterday calling for the Scottish Government to create a new law making it illegal to offer free accommodation in return for sex.

Math Campbell and Stuart McMillan MSP, who proposed the resolution on behalf of the party’s Lomond branch, both read out examples of sex for rent adverts.


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Campbell said: “For those of you who like me hadn’t heard of this disturbing trend, it is quite simply exploitation.

“People in desperate situation, who’ve been made or about to be made homeless, usually young women, occasionally men, often students, in their desperation they search for a new place to live on the internet”.

Campbell said that because no money changes hands, it’s currently a “very legally grey area”, it’s not considered prostitution, but the perpetrators are not considered landlords either.

This means the victims have no rights under Scotland’s tenancy laws, so they can be evicted at any time.

Campbell added: “This could happen to anyone, around one third of Scots live paycheck to paycheck, for many homelessness is never far away.”

McMillan said: Sex for rent is wrong, it’s cruel, it’s immoral and also it preys on the most vulnerable in society. Let’s show the world that we actually care and we will do something about this practice.”

The motion was passed unanimously, while an amendment brought by SNP MSPs Ruth Maguire, Ivan McKee, Kate Forbes and Ash Denham widening it out to cover other kinds of commercial sexual exploitation fell by 32 votes.

However, the Scottish Government may choose not to follow the conference resolution.

A resolution passed at the SNP conference in March calling for a ban on purchasing sex along with decriminalisation of selling sex, the opposite of the current law on prostitution – often known as the Nordic model – has not yet led to any change in Scottish Government policy.

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